Anglicare Sydney Held to Crypto Ransom Over Data Hack

Monday 21 September 2020, 7:00 AM AEST - 1 month ago

Australian not-for-profit Anglicare Sydney has confirmed that it is currently being held ransom for cryptocurrency due to a large data leak caused by hackers that have stolen a significant amount of sensitive personal information from their computer systems.

Anglicare Sydney manages records for a wide range of healthcare services, including adoption, foster care, counselling, and mental health services. The not-for-profit has announced that over 17 gigabytes of data was hacked and sent to a remote location on August 31 in a malicious cyber track.

The hack represents a significant data loss, as Anglicare Sydney is currently contracted by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services to provide both adoption services and foster care, as well as a series of programs designed to assist vulnerable families and at-risk youth.

In a statement released regarding the hack, Anglicare Sydney noted that the main system relating to Anglicare Sydney’s Out of Home Care Program, which includes the foster care program, was not impacted. 

Signals Directorate Confirms Crypto Ransom Demands

The hack is currently under active investigation by the NSW police, who have stated that they are conducting inquiries. Notably the Australian Signals Directorate — Australian government’s intelligence, cyber warfare and information security agency — confirmed that it is currently working alongside Anglicare Sydney to investigate the hack, highlighting the fact that the hackers are demanding cryptocurrency as a payment method.

“Ransomware can cripple organisations that rely on computer systems to function by encrypting all connected electronic devices, folders and files and rendering systems inaccessible. Cybercriminals will then demand a ransom in return for the decryption keys, often in the form of untraceable cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.”

Anglicare Sydney has announced that it will refuse to pay a ransom or engage with cyber criminals.